NYIT Awards Honor Off-Off-Broadway Theatre

by Jacob Coakley

The creative team behind Much Ado About Nothing from Smith Street Stage, Inc, which won for Best Ensemble.The Innovation Theatre Foundation held their 11th annual awards show on Monday, Sept. 21, honoring the best of Off-Off-Broadway. Much Ado About Nothing from Smith Street Inc. was one of the big winners, taking home the award for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Revival of a Play. In Vestments, produced by Theater 4 the People, won Outstanding Premiere Production of a Play.

THE INNOVATIVE THEATRE FOUNDATION 11TH ANNUAL AWARD CEREMONY CELEBRATING OFF-OFF BROADWAY

 New York, NY: On Monday, September 21, 2015 The Innovative Theatre Foundation, the organization who for the past 11 years has been dedicated to celebrating Off-Off-Broadway, announced the 2015 recipients at its annual event. Celebrating eleven years and thousands of nominees, the New York Innovative Theatre awards took place at Mason Hall at Baruch Performing Arts Center. If you missed the show, you can watch it here: www.nyitawards.com/live.

The 2015 New York Innovative Theatre Award Nominees represent 145 individual nominees, 57 productions and 55 theatre companies. In the past 11 years, the IT Awards have honored nearly 2,000 artists, 550 productions and 500 companies.

Host was Jason Kravits (ADA Richard Bay on ABC's Emmy Award Winning Drama "The Practice"), presenters included luminaries from the theatre community: K. Todd Freeman (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Peter Aguero (Moth StorySLAM host), Ray Klausen (production designer), Stanley Allen Sherman, Andrew Block (TDF), Ben Stanton (lighting designer, Fun Home), San Kusnetz (sound designer), Jon Goldstein (composer), Marshall W. Mason (Circle Repertory Company founder), David Auburn (playwright), David Greenspan (playwright and actor), Mindy Cooper Grenke (director, choreographer, performer),  Igor Goldin (director), Vallejo Gantner (PS 122), Alice Ripley (actress), Woodie King Jr. (New Federal Theater), and various members of the Off-Off Broadway Community.

Special awards were presented in the following categories:
Artistic Achievement Award Recipient: Marshall W. Mason
Ellen Stewart Award: HERE Arts Center
Caffé Cino Fellowship Award: Theatre 167
Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award: Andrea Alton
Outstanding Stage Manager: Juni Li

Here is the complete list of winners and nominees. Winners are preceded by a double asterisk (**).

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
** Much Ado About Nothing
, Smith Street Stage, Inc.
Olivia Caputo, Michael Vincent Carrera, Mary Cavett, John Patrick Doherty, Austin Durant, Maxwell Eddy, Patrick Harvey, Alexandra Henrikson, Jonathan Hopkins, David Pegram, Lauren Pennline, Georgina Richardson, Sam Rosenberg, Will Sarratt, Kim Taff, Sophia Tupy, Corey Whelihan**

And If You Lose Your Way, or A Food Odyssey, Lauren Rayner Produtions
Maha Chehlaoui, Nick Choksi, Damon Daunno, Rachel Rusch, Josh Sauerman, Terrell Donnell Sledge, Leah Walsh

The Believers, The Storm Theatre
Christopher Bellant, Laura Bozzone, Joe Danbusky, Ted McGuinness, Patrick Melville, Taylor Anthony Miller

Run For Your Wife, The Gallery Players
Joseph Cassese, Michael Hardart, Emily Hooper, Graciany Miranda, Joshua Nicholson, Timothy Park, Maria Silverman, James Swanson

Short Life of Trouble, Wandering Bark Theatre Company
John C. Egan, Gregory Isaac, Sheila Joon, Suzy Kohane, Michael Markham, Joseph Mitchell Parks, Valerie Redd, Brendan Spieth, Andy Talen

Topography, Broken Box Mime Theater
Becky Baumwoll, Dinah Berkeley, Géraldine Dulex, David Jenkins, Tasha Milkman, Marissa Molnar, Joel Perez, Leah Wagner, Joshua Wynter, Matt Zambrano

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
**Sylvia Milo - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory **
Joe Assadourian - The Bullpen, Eric Krebs Theatrical Management, Inc
Christopher J. Domig - Dirt, Sea Dog Theater
Dominique Fishback - Subverted, Dominique Fishback
Tanya O'Debra - The Ultimate Stimulus, Felipe Ossa
Lucie Pohl - Hi, Hitler, Great Pretender Productions

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE
**Dan McVey - Pretty Babies, Elsinore County **
Joseph Cassese - Run For Your Wife, The Gallery Players
John Hardin - The Ghost, Bottoms Dream
Zac Hoogendyk - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center
Ted McGuinness - The Believers, The Storm Theatre
Tony Naumovski - Kentucky Cantata, Go In Her Room Productions
Matt Pepitone - Erik, The Rising Sun Performance Company in association with FRIGID New York

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A FEATURED ROLE
**Mel House - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center **
Becky Byers - Once Upon a Bride There Was a Forest, Flux Theatre Ensemble
Eboni Flowers - Miss Julie, August Strindberg Repertory Theatre
Carol Hickey - Sweet, Sweet Spirit, Manhattan Theatre Works
Noelle McGrath - Philadelphia, Here I Come!, T. Schreiber Studio
Rachel Rhodes-Devey - Merrily We Roll Along, Astoria Performing Arts Center

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A LEAD ROLE
**Matthew Trumbull - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead**
Joe Danbusky - The Believers,  The Storm Theatre
Sean Hankinson - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center
Christopher Heard - Pretty Babies, Elsinore County
Taylor Anthony Miller - The Believers, The Storm Theatre
Christopher Tanner - Night, The New Stage Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A LEAD ROLE
**Emily Koch - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center **
Debra Cardona - Temple of the Souls, MultiStages
Stacy Lynn Gould - Fiction, Play.Sing.Give.
Jessica Kitchens - No One Loves Us Here, New Light Theater Project
Diana Oh - Donkey Punch, Ivy Theatre Company
Kathryn Rossetter - Mr. Landing Takes a Fall, Slightly Altered States

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY/MOVEMENT
**Isaac Bush - The Mountain, The Circle Theater of New York **
Broken Box Mime Theater - Topography, Broken Box Mime Theater
Jessica Burr - Lying, Blessed Unrest
Mary Cavett - Much Ado About Nothing, Smith Street Stage, Inc.
Maxine Montilus - The Taste of It, Ballybeg
Ildiko Nemeth - Night, The New Stage Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR
**Isaac Byrne - In Vestments, Theatre 4the People **
Isaac Byrne - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory
Dylan Marron - The Human Symphony, New York Neo-Futurists
Ildiko Nemeth - Night, The New Stage Theatre Company
Matt Torney - The Twelfth Labor, Loading Dock Theatre Company
Zoë Watkins - Fiction, Play.Sing.Give.

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
**Nicole Pearce - The Law of Return, Newsom Zipoy Productions **
Simon Cleveland - The Twelfth Labor, Loading Dock Theatre Company
Cory Pattak - Subverted, Dominique Fishback
Federico Restrepo - Night, The New Stage Theatre Company
Barbara Samuels - R & J & Z, Hard Sparks
Morgan Zipf-Meister - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
**Debbi Hobson - Unmentionables, Nylon Fusion Collective ** - Magdalena Dabrowska &Miodrag Guberinic - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory
Sidney Fortner - Within the Law, Metropolitan Playhouse
Ásta Bennie Hostetter - The Essential Straight & Narrow, The Mad Ones
Ben Philipp - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead
Marla Speer - Temple of the Souls, MultiStages

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
**Carolyn Mraz - The Twelfth Labor, Loading Dock Theatre Company **
Alexis Distler - The Law of Return, Newsom Zipoy Productions
Aaron Gonzalez - Talk Radio, Variations Theatre Group
Kathryn Kawecki - The Taste of It, Ballybeg
Anna Sroka - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory
Sandy Yaklin - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
**Jeanne Travis - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead **
Nathan Davis - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory
Jeremy J Lee - The Law of Return, Newsom Zipoy Productions
Ellen Mandel - Medea & The Furies, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble
John Emmett O'Brien & Scott Stauffer - Subverted, Dominique Fishback
Kyra Sims - The Human Symphony, New York Neo-Futurists

OUTSTANDING INNOVATIVE DESIGN
**Stephanie Cox-Williams - (Gore & Blood Effects) - R & J & Z, Hard Sparks **
Laia Cabrera,Isabelle Duverger& Ildiko Nemeth - (Projection Design) - Night, The New Stage Theatre Company
Aaron Gonzalez - (Projection Design) - Doubles Crossed: The Ballad of Rodrigo, Funny...Sheesh Productions
Rock Star Karaoke - (Live Band Karaoke) - Twelfth Night or, Sir Toby Belch's Lonely Hearts Club Cabaret, Three Day Hangover
Marla Speer - (Mask Design) - Temple of the Souls, MultiStages
Jaime Vallés - (Video Design) - In The Bones, Astoria Performing Arts Center

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC
**Phyllis Chen & Nathan Davis - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory **
Andy Evan Cohen - Unmentionables, Nylon Fusion Collective
Dean Landon &Anika Paris - Temple of the Souls, MultiStages
Nick Luckenbaugh - Royal Fables, Libra Theater Company
John Anthime Miller - The Mountain, The Circle Theater of New York
Jacob Subotnick - Doubles Crossed: The Ballad of Rodrigo, Funny...Sheesh Productions

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SHORT SCRIPT
**Lisa Bruna - Invasion from Estrogenius: Andi's Night, manhattan theatre source **
Bekah Brunstetter - I Have It from Estrogenius: Andi's Night, manhattan theatre source
Jody Christopherson - Because You Are Good from The Vanguard, Metropolitan Playhouse
Brenton Lengel - Snow White Zombie from Estrogenius: Andi's Night, manhattan theatre source
Felipe Ossa - The Ultimate Stimulus, Felipe Ossa
Erica Saleh - To Ashley and Lauren from The Spring Fling: Anniversary, F*It Club

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL FULL-LENGTH SCRIPT
**Micheline Auger - Donkey Punch, Ivy Theatre Company **
Nat Cassidy - The Temple, or Lebensraum, Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead
Sara Fellini - In Vestments, Theatre 4the People
Sylvia Milo - The Other Mozart, Little Matchstick Factory
Anika Paris, Lorca Peress& Anita Velez-Mitchell - Temple of the Souls, MultiStages
Ruby Rae Spiegel - Dry Land, Colt Coeur

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE ART PRODUCTION
**Night  - The New Stage Theatre Company **
And If You Lose Your Way, or A Food Odyssey - Lauren Rayner Productions
The Black That I Am - Braata Productions
The Bullpen - Eric Krebs Theatrical Management, Inc
The Human Symphony - New York Neo-Futurists
The Listeners - The Brick Theater, Inc
Topography - Broken Box Mime Theater

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
**Merrily We Roll Along - Astoria Performing Arts Center **
A Christmas Carol - A New Musical - WorkShop Theater Company
Edward the Second - Isle of Shoals Productions, Inc.
Next to Normal - The Gallery Players
Pinwheel! a new musical - Random Access Theatre
The Singapore Mikado - Theater 2020
Temple of the Souls - MultiStages

OUTSTANDING PREMIERE PRODUCTION OF A PLAY
**In Vestments - Theatre 4the People **
Donkey Punch - Ivy Theatre Company
In The Bones - Astoria Performing Arts Center
The Law of Return - Newsom Zipoy Productions
The Other Mozart - Little Matchstick Factory
The Temple, or Lebensraum - Tin Drum Productions in Association with MozzleStead
The Twelfth Labor - Loading Dock Theatre Company

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
**Much Ado About Nothing - Smith Street Stage, Inc. **
The Butter and Egg Man - Retro Productions
Fiction - Play.Sing.Give.
R & J & Z - Hard Sparks
Talk Radio - Variations Theatre Group
Within the Law - Metropolitan Playhouse -

The New York Innovative Theatre Foundation is a not-for-profit organization recognizing the great work of New York City's Off-Off-Broadway, honoring its artistic heritage, and providing a meeting ground for this extensive and richly varied community. The organization advocates for Off-Off-Broadway and recognizes the unique and essential role it plays in contributing to American and global culture. They believe that publicly recognizing excellence in Off-Off-Broadway will expand audience awareness and foster greater appreciation of the New York theatre experience. www.nyitawards.com 

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